Recommended Posts

We have a medlar tree in our orchard. We’ve never done anything with the fruits over the years, it’s just been growing and they just drop off and rot away. I’ve been browsing the net to see what can be done with the fruits - some people make jelly or jam. They can be eaten raw but they have to be ‘bletted’ i.e allowed to semi rot for a few weeks. I’ve just peeled and eaten a bletted fruit and for the life of me I can’t understand what he attraction is. It’s a bit like a mushy, part rotten, apple. Has anyone here tried them and can suggest other uses?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a medlar tree and you handle them with care if you don't want the spines in your hand!  The flowers are beautiful but the taste of the fruit doesn't appeal to me, although my father liked them. Don't like damsons either so I usually give them away. Also have a quince. Tried quince wine once. Couldn't say it was to my taste.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, we have a quince and a lady down the lane has borne away a large bagful with the idea of making quince jelly. We’ve tried that and it’s nothing special. She’s also going to make quince gin which I think is a bit like sloe gin where the chopped fruits are  steeped in gin for a period of time. What does appeal to me is to make a mash of the quinces with water, let them ferment and distil the product. This would be a type of moonshine so would be illegal without a licence and the product would have to be diluted to about 40% to avoid you going blind! I have tried the illegal Irish moonshine, potteen, when over there in the past and that had a kick like a mule!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of my quinces and damsons go to a friend who makes gin and uses them for flavouring. I keep the pears and apples, although do share cooking apples with friends...in return for the odd pie!  I'm fond of baked apples with veggie mincemeat and cream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the old name for medlars is dogs arses ,due to the look of the fruit

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

saw it on telly Hugh Filthy Whittingstal  ,he also eats slugs and afterbirth pate!

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember a medlar tree in the vicarage garden in Rempstone. My granny used to cadge the fruits to make medlar jelly (I think it was made in the same way as jam). She said it tasted like Christmas pudding. That resemblance passed me by, it tasted like rotten fruit to me.

 

In her own garden, there was a fig tree. I never saw any figs but we (cousins and myself) used to cut twigs from it and paint ourselves with the white sap that came out. This dried dark brown or black thus giving us 'tattoos' which stayed there for several days (we didn't bath very much when staying there as there was no running water).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, jonab said:

 

.......  In her own garden, there was a fig tree. I never saw any figs but we (cousins and myself) used to cut twigs from it and paint ourselves with the white sap that came out. This dried dark brown or black thus giving us 'tattoos' which stayed there for several days .......

 

We used to make 'tattoos' using the milk from inside the stems of dandelions.  We didn't call them tattoos though, just patterns.  (And I can't ever remember wetting the bed, which is what picking dandelions is supposed to do!!)

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We did that as well. I think that the fig milk gave a longer lasting, darker colour than dandelion. It was very sticky and I was never sure whether it was the stuff itself which gave the colour or the muck that collected on it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

we have a lot of medlars here in the markets and next door have a tree, they very different to the ones you describe. they are about the size and shape as a large plum very smooth with a few specks on them. We eat them raw. I think the ones you describe are the germanic ones or common medlar. I remember my husband telling me they used to eat these Nespole when he was younger but here its rarely we see them only the ones here. the ones we have here are the Japanese nespole. They are sweet and slightly acidic, I like them as they are a great source for quenching thirst. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
25 minutes ago, nonnaB said:

I think the ones you describe are the germanic ones or common medlar

Surely you're not suggesting that Philmayfield has something  common in his orchard, nonna?  ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ours is a Mespilus Germanica, known as the ‘Nottingham’ medlar (appropriately). When we kept sheep in our orchard, to keep the grass down, they ate the bark off the apple trees and killed them. The sheep were subsequently killed as well! It used to be an old commercial apple orchard with around 100 trees of which I had already taken every other one out. We managed to save a few around the perifory which were protected by an electric fence. We partially replaced the lost trees with a medlar, a quince, 3 pears, a damson, a plum, a green gage, a crabapple and two Bramleys just to give us a variety. We can’t eat them all of course but the wildlife enjoy them when they fall.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Jill Sparrow said:

Surely you're not suggesting that Philmayfield has something  common in his orchard, nonna?  ;)

Well all the trees came from Merryweather’s in Southwell so pretty upmarket!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just spent an hour of confusion trying to determine what the differences are between nonna's medlars and the ones I knew as a child.

I think I've cracked it. The ones of my youth are the dogs rear type Mespilus germanica called here nefliér or neflé. The type that nonna has are neflé du Japon (as nonna says, the Japanese nespole), in English, the loquat Eriobotrya japonica. These have little resemblance to the English/German type and, although I have seen them on sale here, I've never tried eating them. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loquat

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably ok made into a jam or jelly and served with pork. They are a bit like apple sauce. A very acquired taste to eat raw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Granny had medlar jelly with Stilton cheese and bread. There was a local farm that made a Stilton style cheese. I think it was Derbyshire's but it may have been Buchanan's.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Stilton would be a good partner to medlar jelly. Back in the day there were a few Stilton producers but now reduced to six. It only can be called Stilton if made in Notts, Derbyshire and Leicestershire. My favourite Stilton is from Colston Basset, about 10 miles away. My least favourite, Long Clawson which has a bitter taste. I often buy direct from the dairy. It’s a bit of a nonsense really because there’s lots of other blue cheese made in the same way and tastes very similar. Cheese snobbery perhaps! Even the Frogs make similar cheeses!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The frogs make some very good blue cheeses - Roquefort, Bleu d'Auvergne for example. The Italians do Dolcelatte and Gorgonzola - there are lots of them around but my favourite is, like you, Phil, Colston Basset Stilton and there is also a bitter one which, I quite readily accept, is Long Clawson which I find unacceptable.

 

The cheese that my granny had with the medlar jelly was only a Stilton type. I used to go to the dairy when I was staying at grannies and see it being made. I don't think there was much of it around. It was long before the days of protected name status.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have recently discovered a really tasty cheese. At first I thought it strange that stilton was in a supermarket. However it looked good so I bought some. Its called Bleu du Mont Cenis. Delicious on its own or with a drizzle of honey. Jonab will know it. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have seen Bleu de Moncenis but never tried it. Perhaps, as it looks so much like Stilton, I would (unfairly) compare them and be disappointed.

 

I'll give it a go next time I see it.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would say its slightly stronger than stilton but then it depends how old the stilton is. I think its a bit expensive maybe because its not italian. Over €6 for half a cheese about 4" in diameter don't know what it weighs though. We can get 4/5 pieces of cheese weighing 200 g for little over €10.

France got me into eating cheese. My bil lives in Grenoble ( Sassenage) and whilst there for a while he persuaded me to try all sorts( I was strictly a cheddar eater) when I returned my first shop was asda to buy cheeses of all sorts and never looked back.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a very long time cheese fan - all the way back to  Burton's in my early(ish) youth when I decided to test out every cheese they had on their extensive display counter. Some were dreadful (Sage Derby, for example), others exquisite like Roquefort (if only I could have afforded a bigger piece).

 

When I became a regular visitor to France one of the first places I would visit was the La Nouvelle Cremerie in Chateauneuf de Grasse (just down the road from where I now live) where I would act as I used to in Burton's, wanting to try out every cheese they had available - which wasn't easy at the time as my knowledge of the language was somewhat primitive, to say the least, and the selection of cheeses was vast. Each time I went they would provide me with a sample pack to take back to England to try out. Even now they seem to have a new cheese in their range every time I visit. As with Burton's - some cheeses are dreadful, some wonderful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I brought a cheese back from France once and you could smell it in my hand baggage. I had to bury it in the garden when I got home!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You didn't even try it?

Some of the smelliest cheeses have the best flavours  - it's just getting over the initial aversion that's the problem. There are exceptions to this Port Salut, for example. Someone said to me once that it smells like a Parisian tarts knickers. Not being familiar with this particular fragrance, I did, with trepidation, try some. It was totally tasteless. Another cheese (I can't remember the name, unfortunately) is wrapped in blackcurrant leaves. This imparts a smell strongly resembling tom cat pee. Again, if you can overcome the nausea created by the smell, the cheese itself is devoid of any virtues.

 

Having said that, quite a number of soft cheeses have really strong odours and excellent flavours - Camembert is one example which everyone is aware of. Be careful, though, any cheese smelling of ammonia is past it best.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now